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The Emperor now summoned his council again, And one to the other his views did explain :
One of his generals he slew,
Just to encourage all the rest.
To render it a graver matter,
Should be condemned to hold the platter. For those who would not use their brains,
While carrying such things about them, The Emperor thought, by taking pains,
Might get on just as well without them.
And meanwhile that the opium-trade might be ended, A vigilant custom-house search recommended
Of things one do n't meet with every day, Except in processions, perchance, at the play. Talk of King Arthur, at Drury Lane,
With its pasteboard troopers,
And its crowd of supers, Running out and running in again. Talk of the properties, banners, and so on; Talk of the choristers hired to go on ;
Talk of the horrible creatures that stand
At the back of the stage, with torches in hand,
At length the troops celestial agreed
They marshalled all their forces,
The whole of their resources. To frighten British soldiers back
Was all that they were bent upon, And very
curious was the tack Which now at last they went upon. A painted dragon with extended claw,
They knew to be a sight Themselves at once to overawe,
And fill their souls with fright. They therefore thought it might,
When offered to the view Of the barbarians in the fight,
Strike them with terror too !
Mechi's magic razor-strappers ; Chesterfield and other wrappers ;
But, alas! the procession did n't tell
By any means so well As the poor Chinese had hoped that it might. They've been mistaken, rather,
But the moon's own son, and his son's own
Is now at last set right.
With this nation so deluded
Peace is happily concluded:
Stockings, coarse as well as fine ;
G. A. A'B.
ROM the era of the papyrus and the reed down to the days of “ruby pens,” and superscented - satin- gilt - hotpressed-Bath post, it
has been the custom (although 't would be far more honoured in the breach than the observance) for authors to commence with an apologetical preface.
Reader, we despise such a paltry method of insinuating ourselves into your good graces; and frankly confess we are about to place our foot in the stirrup, and get upon
that noble animal, the Horse," a subject we never before straddled in our lives ! Ere we mount, however, we confess that in our younger days we once vaulted upon a rocking-horse, and were ignominiously thrown !—a sufficient reason for lowering our equestrian ambition; for refusing the next day, at school, to construe ride si sapis ; and for our declining to join in the game of "jump my little nag-tail.”
Since then, fate has cast our destiny, and moulding us into a printer's devil, we have become acquainted with
rian, for he foisted upon the credulity of mankind memoirs of lions and tigers that he knew nothing about until they were stuffed with straw-has thus written of the horse :—“ The noblest conquest ever made by man over the brute creation, is the reduction of this spirited and courageous animal, which shares with him the fatigues of war and the glory of victory. Equally intrepid as his master, the horse sees the danger, and encounters death with bravery; inspired at the clash of arms, he loves war, and pursues the enemy with ardour.
He feels pleasure also in the chase, and in tournaments; in the course he is all fire ; but equally tractable as courageous, he does not give way to his impetuosity, and knows how to check his natural and fiery temper."
This is all very flowery and fine, but evinces anything but a profound knowledge of the subject, and resembles the original about as much as the basket-horses of a clown in the pantomime. Unfortunately, Buffon was a naturalist of chamber-practice, well acquainted with towel and clothes’-horses, but who wrote in full-dress, and would no more have risked soiling his lace-ruffles in a stable, than your sedentary writers of travels would risk their precious persons in Kamskatcha or Timbuctoo.
In disputing the horse doctrines of Buffon, we candidly admit the culpability of many others, in palming their notions of veterinary morality upon the public. Painters, poets, and novelists have ascribed to him the most exquisite virtues and sentiments, whilst those admirable judges of horseflesh, the restaurateurs of Paris, have assigned to his physical capabilities the rare quality of producing most excellent and tender beef-steaks, Our motive, then, for pointing out and correcting these errors, arises from a natural fear that they may exert a lamentable influence not only upon the judgment, but also on the limbs, of mankind.
Suppose, for instance, an inexperienced amateur, confiding in the assurance of the lace-ruffled professor, that the horse “not only submits to the arm which guides him, but seems to consult the wishes of the rider, and presses on or stops at his pleasure.” Suppose our amateur confidently mounting the saddle, persuaded upon the faith of all this, that he has not the least occasion to distrust the quadruped, naturally so good, so docile, and so obliging, you will see
him fall not only from the height of his illusions, but, what is still more annoying, from the height of his Rosinante.
Next to the “noble animal's" docility, we have had volumes upon his wonderful courage. But who does not perceive the absurdity of assigning intrepid courage and warlike ardour to the most fearful, and, perhaps, the most cowardly of animals,—who trembles at the slightest noise,and who is startled and convulsed at the sight of the most inoffensive objects. How erroneous are the assertions of those writers who have stated that he delights in the thunder of cannon and musketry—that he leaps lighthearted into the dangers of war, hungering after sabres, and thirsting for a sparkling draught of bayonets. It is impossible to believe an animal gifted with the temperament of a hero, that is frightened at a shuttlecock; and the difficulty of accustoming our cavalry horses to stand the report of firearms, is a tolerable proof that warlike courage is far from one of their natural tastes.
But we are neither disposed to quarrel with the horse nor to under-rate his merits: we know through him the Greeks won Troy--that the merits of Bucephalus caused Alexander to name a city after him—that Richard would have given his “kingdom for a horse"—that Lady Godiva, seated in puris naturalibus upon his back, saved the "goode citie of Coventrie," and that eventually its inhabitants became ribbon-makers, instead of being cut into ribbons by her ruthless lord. Then there was Hippograph, with many other Hippos, mostly, however, hypo-thetical, --Chiron, who was only half-bred—the weeping horses of Achillesthe spouting horses of Neptune, and those "out-andouters" of Phæton's, which even Ducrow, or the best whip on the road, would have been puzzled to manage.
Instead of being simply allowed his natural attributes, the horse for ages has been an ill-used animal, employed in conveying the absurd notions of others. Poets are licensed to commit such absurdities, for no one believes them to write of any other horse but their own fabulous Pegasus. But how often has he been painted in the most tender attitudes, weeping like any christian over the body of a dead trumpeter, or wounded hussar. Really, the quantity of tears a horse's eye will hold is a point worthy the attention of naturalists. We suspect his real attachment to his master is about parallel to the minister's attachment to his place—the secret of the one lies in the treasury, and of the other in the manger.
We remember a circumstance which bears somewhat on this point.-A grand equestrian spectacle was produced at one of the minor temples of the drama, in which the most "touching incident” arose out of the strong attachment evinced by the leading horse towards the leading actor. The latter, wounded in battle, is brought to his tent, whither he is followed by his faithful steed, to whom he desires his attendants to present a bowl of corn. The horse, deeply concerned for his wounded master (as the author of the piece would have it supposed), turns his head melancholically away from the proferred food. The spectators applaud his sensibility, believing it natural, but what was the fact ?—Why the corn was mixed with cloutnails, and horses suffer from indigestion as well as men !
Amongst the accomplishments of the horse, dancing, and a natural ear for music have often been spoken of. Aided by the spur, we have seen him dance to music, of which we believe him to be so far a connoisseur as to see no difference between “Tu vedrai" and "Nix my Dolly, pals," or " Jolly Nose." But the time is not distant, when horses will attend the geometrical section of the meetings of the British Association, since in mathematics they may really be said to outstrip man, for how often have they accomplished that difficult problem, the measuring of the circumference of the circle.
Talking of the circle brings us to the ring of the riding-school, where, judging from the laborious exertions of most tyros in equestrian science, we are inclined to believe it is not half so difficult to qualify one's self for a prime-minister as for a post-boy. Look, reader, at our friend, whose body oscillates backwards and forwards like a pendulum : grasping convulsively the mane or the pommel, and rising up at each step like a frog under the action of a